“Though promoted, the person does not seem to be happy”, Common Questions and Answers of a Modern Office.


QUESTION:  Though promoted, the person does not seem to be happy.

FACT:   Under the guise of promotion, he has actually been sidelined.

There are some promotions that make people unhappy. While the promoted person experiences this feeling, others too understand what is going on and do not congratulate him. This has been experienced by people in middle or senior positions. The fundamental reason is that the promotion appears to be a sideways move.

It is not unheard of that a person outgrows a current position, which then creates the need for a more capable hand to take over the role. In such a scenario, the management might move up the original person so that he can work in a niche area, but is actually assigning fewer responsibilities or a less visible position to this person. It could even be an odd job that no one wants. The job lacks fun and action, and the influence of the person on the larger organizational activities is also reduced. Unlike in the past, hardly anyone will now discuss relevant issues with him and he is not involved with the things that are happening around him. The person has to accept this new role or else, resign.’ Sometimes, a new position in which nobody else wants to work, is also created and assigned to such a person. He may be the sole member in this department, or may be provided with a skeleton team. Some organizations even recommend that employees take rotation assignments for their own career development. Often, they ask an employee to take on a staff role so that he gains experience before moving him back into a line role at a more senior level. In some cases, the organization feels that by providing this ‘parking’ position, the person might leave on his own; this is especially so when the employment contract makes firing somewhat expensive.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE EMPLOYEE? You are left with three options: one, quit the job; two, continue in the present role and do the minimum amount of work; three, take the new position as ‘a challenge and give if your. best. You might even be able to turn this job around. And, seeing the good results, the company may see a value in expanding the team and adding more responsibility to your position. This will help regain the ‘influence’ you used to enjoy in the past.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE MANAGER? Send a clear message and try to help the person take the third option. You should provide the required direction and help in turning the employee around. This will not only help him but also give you a great deal of satisfaction. Unfortunately, employees tend to park themselves in the second option and complain of office politics. They then wait to see if there is any favorable management change so that they can gain ‘influence’ again. This is a case of shunning hard work and ‘working’ previous contacts. In such a situation, most probably, the person would be laid off in due course.

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